Live Music Review //
Messa / Maggot Heart
October 18th, 2023
at The Space Ballroom, Hamden CT

Additional photos can be found in a Facebook album here :::

Right away this show interested me because there was no local opener.  I would've loved to see someone like Doom Beach open this show, but keeping it to two artists and the fact that both of them are here from outside of the U.S. just seemed to make this show more fitting.  I'm also at a point in my life where I don't mind rocking, but I prefer to be home before midnight on a week night.   The idea of two bands starting at 8pm really made it feel like that would be possible and that should also entice people to come out to these shows.

Though there wasn't a lack of a crowd at this show.  I want to give a special shout out to everyone who came out and bought a ticket to this show.  The Space Ballroom looked full and most importantly the crowd was loud.  Every time the music got a little quieter and in between songs, you could hear these fans and they were loud enough to make you question how everyone could fit into The Space Ballroom.   They truly made the loudness of an arena at times.

Maggot Heart opened this show and they came all the way from Germany to play their particular brand of rock music.  It's so difficult to put Maggot Heart into a category of sound but that's what makes them so special.  A spoken word piece opened their set, as the band members came onto the stage.   Linnéa Olsson said that we were all going to take a trip into rock n roll tonight and it truly felt like we did.

This sound was fast paced at times but overall it was just loud.  I could feel every part of me moving with the drums.  It felt like it could've been a test where you place someone near the speakers and watch as they move across the floor to the rhythm.  People were certainly moving along with the music, but at the same time, Maggot Heart created such a sound that the whole place would've felt like it was moving regardless.

Messa headlined this show and played a different set than Maggot Heart but one that the crowd was still very much into.   The slow, prodding metal of Messa, who are from Italy, just filled The Space Ballroom in a way that made me question the stability of the structure itself.  If I was going to create a show to try and destroy a physical building such as this, Messa would be on that roster for sure.

Somewhat doom, somewhat sludge, Messa just played loud and heavy and the crowd was into every note of it.  Sometimes it came out so fast I thought I'd be knocked over.   At one point near the end, everyone left the stage except for the guitarist who just played through.  I have to say, their guitarist is one of the best guitarists I have ever seen live and just going to see Messa to experience that guitar work is worth it alone.

After their last song, the lights remained red and the house lights/music didn't come on so there seemed to be some confusion as to whether or not there would be an encore.  As the bands made their way to the merch tables, the lights came up and the house music came on.   I also remain impressed that most everyone flocks to the merch tables after the show because it's one thing to know that the crowd is showing up but also having it feel like they're going above and beyond that makes for a really special night.  

Messa can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Maggot Heart can be found on the web here :::

Space Ballroom can be found on the web here :::


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